Positive effects of a qigong and aerobic exercise program on physical health in elderly Japanese women

Author: Sakata T, Li Q, Tanaka M and Tajima F
Conference/Journal: Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
Date published: 2008
Other: Volume ID: 13 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 162-168 , Word Count: 218

Objective: To determine the effects of a 12-week qigong and aerobic exercise program on the physical well-being of relatively healthy elderly Japanese women. Methods In the first study, 72 elderly Japanese women who were relatively healthy and naive to qigong completed the 12-week qigong and aerobic exercise program. Physical function,
body composition, and abdominal fat were evaluated. In the second study, we examined the effects of qigong alone on physical function. Twenty-nine participants in each of two groups (divided according to their residences) underwent a 12-week program: qigong and aerobic exercise (residents in Yura Town) or qigong exercise alone (residents in
Mihama Town). Results In the first study, physical function including lung capacity, trunk bending, normal walking for 30 m, and rising from a supine position significantly improved after the 12-week program. In addition, body fat diminished significantly during the program. In the second study, both exercise programs (“qigong and aerobic” and “qigong alone”) similarly increased walking speed (normal and maximum walking) and rising speed.

Conclusions The findings of this exploratory study demonstrated that a 12-week qigong and aerobic exercise program was associated with improvements in physical function and a reduction in body fat. The qigong exercise program alone positively influenced physical function. The qigong program appears to be an appealing means of improving the physical health of elderly persons.